Archive for the ‘Surnames’ Category

When I was searching the immigration lists for my 2nd Great Grandmother’s arrival to New South Wales in 1853, I discovered from the shipping record that she had an Uncle Peter already living in the colony. From this I was able to establish other connections and arrivals.

The family arrived in the following order:

  1.  James Quirk arrived in New South Wales on board the Ship Victoria, on the 2nd September 1849. He was aged 25, read, farm labourer and Roman Catholic. Parents: Peter and Catherine, living St Johns Well.
  2. Margaret Quirk arrived in New South Wales on board the Ship Victoria, along with her brother, on the 2nd September 1849. She was 21, Roman Catholic, could neither read nor write. Parents Peter and Catherine
  3. Peter Quirke, his wife Mary and children arrived on the ship Neptune on the 18th February 1852
    • Peter Quirke, age 48, farm labourer, St Johns Kilkenny, Parents, James & Ellis Quirk, both dead. Roman Catholic, can read and write. A son James was living in Surry Hills and a daughter Margaret working (unable to read). Paid 13pds for self and family
    • Mary Quirke, age 38, dairy woman, St Johns Kilkenny, Parents Thomas & Mary Connelly both dead, Roman Catholic, neither read nor write. A 1st cousin Pat Heffernan (?) residing somewhere in Sydney
    • Michael, age 20, Ploughman, St Johns Well *shipping record says ‘father and mother on board’. It’s noted though that Michael’s mother was Catherine, Peter’s first wife. Catherine died around 1831-1832.
    • Thomas, age 18, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • John, age 15, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • Nicholas, age 13, Farm Labourer, St Johns Well
    • Peter, age 10, St Johns Well
    • Mary, age 3 ½ , St Johns Well
  4. Patrick Quirke arrived in New South Wales on board the David McIver on the 23rd December 1854, aged 19, Kilkenny County, Kilkenny, Parents John and Catherine, father dead, mother living Kilkenny, Roman Catholic, neither read or write. An Uncle Peter Quirk, farm labourer, living Pitt Street
  5. Mary Quirke arrived in New South Wales on board the Athenian, 15th December 1853.She was aged 21, could Read, roman catholic, here parents were listed as John and Catherine, father dead, mother living and she had an Uncle Peter living in Sydney. (source: Reel 2137, [4/4791]; Reel 2464, [4/4928])
  6. Catherine Quirk (nee Slattery), with her two daughters and nephew arrived on board the ship Matoaka 22nd January 1857.
    • Catherine Quirk, age 46, housekeeper, Clomnel, County Tipperary. Parents, Patrick & Mary both dead, Roman Catholic, neither read nor write. A son and daughter, Patrick and Mary, living Sydne
    • Margaret, 17, St Johns Kilkenny, John and Catherine, father dead, mother on board        Roman Catholic, neither read nor write.
    • Catherine, 15, St Johns Kilkenny, John and Catherine, father dead, mother on board, Roman Catholic
    • James Quirk, age 5, Nephew to Catherine. St John’s Well Kilkenny, parents; Nicholas and Margaret residing in Sydney. Roman Catholic. * I have not been able to find when Nicholas & Margaret arrived in NSW but as the shipping record for James, indicates his parents were already living in Sydney prior to 1857, I suspect their arrival to be around 1852-1853, probably leaving baby James shortly after his birth.
  7.  Thomas Quirk, his wife and daughter, arrived on the Nile, in 4 May 1861 and had arrived from England, where they had been living.
    • Thomas, age 39, St Johns Kilkenny, Read and Write
    • Johanna, age 37, St Johns Kilkenny, Read and Write
    • Maryann, age 14, Liverpool, Lancaster, Read and Write

Mary Quirke was my 2nd Great Grandmother. She was baptised on the 12 Aug 1832 at Johns Well, St Johns, Kilkenny Ireland to John Quirk and Catherine Slattery.

Name: Mary Quirk      Date of Baptism/Birth:          12-Aug-1832

Address:          Johns Well       Parish/District:           ST. JOHN’S

County            Co. Kilkenny                Denomination:           Roman Catholic

Father:            John Quirk       Mother:          Catherine Slattery

Informant 1:   William Quirk  Informant 2:   Mary Quirk

Mary arrived in New South Wales on board the Athenian 15th December 1853 (source: Reel 2137, [4/4791]; Reel 2464, [4/4928]). She was aged 21, could Read, roman catholic, here parents were listed as John and Catherine, father dead, mother living and she had an Uncle Peter living in Sydney

On the 10th March 1857, Mary married Joseph Dilworth, a widower who had 6 young children. His first wife Elizabeth had died in December 1856.

Mary and Joseph had 6 children of their own:

  • William (1857-1877)
  • Lizzie (1859-1937): married Walter Rodd
  • Charles Patrick (1861-1946): married Margaret McCormack * my great grandparents
  • John James (1865-1929): married Maria Donnelly
  • Ruth Catherine (1866-1939): married John Rice Smith. On their marriage certificate, her name is listed as Catherine Margaret. Her Birth is registered as Ruth Catherine.
  • Maryann Margaret (1868-1939): married Francis McGuire. On her death certificate her name is listed as Margaret Catherine. Her birth certificate though shows her name as Maryann Margaret. Her marriage certificate says her name was Margaret and she was given consent to marry by her mother.

It appears that by about 1870, Mary had begun a new relationship with Michael Melvyton (1844-1925). Mary and Michael had 3 children:

  • Charlotte (1872-1950): married John McGinnity
  • Maryann (1873-1925): married James Bennett
  • Michael (1875-?): married Ada Sophia Curtin

Mary and Michael did not marry until 29th December 1887 at Gunnedah. On the marriage, Mary used her maiden name of Quirk.

Mary died on the 10th November 1911 at Boggabri. She is buried with Mary Catherine Dilworth who died 23rd October 1919. Her parents were Michael & Winifred. I have not been able to establish what the relationship is between the two.

 John Robin Harris – Wine Merchant & Gentleman of Arms

General Information:

John Robin Harris was born 18 Sep 1818 St Peter’s Port Guernsey, Channel Islands. John was the brother of my 3x Great Grandfather – Pierre George Harris (also Known as Peter). Their parents were Pierre Honney Harris and Anne Tostevin

John married Susan Mary Kaines of St Peter Port in 1839. John and Susan sailed to Adelaide in 1839 on the John. He was a wine merchant but also a soldier in the Royal Guernsey Militia Artillery and the Kent Rifle Volunteers. He sold his Vintners business to his brother-in-law, John Henry Kaines, in 1855 and returned to England. He was appointed as one of the honorable Company of Gentlemen-at-Arms, a bodyguard to Queen Victoria. He died in Blackheath, Kent in 1870.

Other notable information as found on Trove:

From the South Australian Register

1852: John Robin Harris was charged on the information of the Inspector of Nuisances with suffering a goat to be at large in Currie Street, on the 30th June.

Wednesday 16 November 1853: John Robin was fined £1 for causing obstructing the footpath in King William Street by placing goods there.

In 1854, John along with his brother were granted Shopkeeper licenses.

  • Peter George Harris, wine merchant, Leigh street. .
  • John Robin Harris, wine merchant, King Wil liam-street.

Thursday, August 19, 1858.

South Australian Colonists: The following is from London Gazette of June 15. The gentleman referred to is Mr J R Harris, late wine merchant of this city “St James Palace June 11, The Queen has been pleased on the nomination of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, to appoint John Robin Harris Esq, late First Lieutenant Royal Guernsey Militia Artillery to be one of Her Majesty’s Hon Corps Gentlemen of Arms, Vice Phillip Solomons Esq Resigned

From Wikipedia – a Gentleman of Arms is described as being: “Her Majesty’s Bodyguard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms is a bodyguard to the British Monarch. Until 17 March 1834 they were known as The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners”.

In the 1861 Census, John Robin & his wife Susan are living at Kidbroke Kent with two daughters (Alice & Lela). They also had a two maids and a cook

John died on the 19th September 1870 at Kent England. His will was dated 17/10/1870 and he had effects of under £4000, which was left to his wife Susan Mary Harris of 3 Upper Street, Germans Terrace.

I have not written on my blog in a while, in fact not since July 2012,  but I have decided to accept the challenge of Amy Johnson Crow over at No Story Too Small blog. Amy challenges us: 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks.

The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.

Though in some weeks I might take a little bit of a different tack and concentrate on a particular surname where there are particular brick walls and also those ancestors who were born in Suffolk England.

Mary Stow

This week, I am writing about Mary Stow who was born about 1753 in Polstead Suffolk.  She married Samuel Baker at Polstead on the 9th October 1775. This is all I know about her.

Their children were:

  1. Mary Baker 1776-1776
  2. Samuel Baker 1778-1778
  3. Samuel Baker 1780-1852
  4. James Baker 1789-1863 (my 4x Great Grandfather) – his son Samuel being my 3x Great Grandfather.

I have found a possible baptism for Mary in Polstead on the 14/1/1753 to a Jacob and Bridget (nee Harding) on Family Search but not sure if this is my Mary or not.

Also, I am trying to determine if Clement Stow who was born around 1755 and married Ann Willis, is related to Mary, possibly maybe her brother (?), as two of James Baker’s (above) sones married two sisters with the surname of Stow.

 Bride Bride Parents Groom Groom Parents
Hannah Stow (born 1825 – Polstead) John Stow & Mary Boar Thomas Baker (b1824  Boxford) James Baker & Sarah Westrop
Esther Stow (born 1828 Polstead) John Stow & Mary Board Henry Baker (b 1826 Boxford) James Baker & Sarah Westrop

Clement Stow

Clement was born in Polstead in about 1755. He married Ann Willis on the 2/9/1773 at Polstead (251 Clement Stow, of Polsted, 18 years, s. m., & Ann Willis, s. w., of same, at same. 2 Sep., 1773)*

I do have both the East Sudbury Deanery 1754-1812 and West Dearnery 1754-1812 Baptism Indexes, (both available from  Suffolk Family History ) but I have not been able to find Clements’s baptism on either CD nor can I find it on Family Search.

I obtained the death certificate of a Thomas Showler who died in 1860 at Cooma NSW in the hope that maybe it would show if he was the Thomas Showler, who was born in 1797 Aylesbury Buckinghamshire,  who was the cousin of my GG Grandfather John Showler/Shoulders.

The Thomas Showler listed on this death certificate was listed as being of ‘about 50’ years of age, which would make his birth around 1810 but the informant could have just guessed his age. His parents were unknown and he died on or about the 7th November 1860. I’m not sure if this death certificate is for my Thomas Showler. This is another death recorded for a Thomas Showler at Liverpool Asylum in 1897 listing the parents of William and Amelia. I did a search of the NSW Birth Indexes and there is no birth for a Thomas Showler (or variants) to a William or Amelia. So I wonder if this death is the correct one, though the names of the parents do not match.

Now when I look at the death certificate for Thomas Showler who died in 1860, I was rather amused so see the cause of death being: “Exposure to cold whilst in a state of nudity being at the time labouring under temporary insanity”. The informant was Robert Dawson, police magistrate, Cooma.

Under Other comment was:  ‘This man was well known in the district as ‘Tom the Groom’ and generally supposed to be of unsound mind’.

I’ve done a search on Trove, to see if there are any reports on the death to see if there was any other information but no such luck.

The Thomas I am looking for received a ticket of leave in 1838 in Goulburn. According to the convict indents he was married before he arrived in NSW in 1831.

I am only able to find one marriage for a Thomas Showler to a Hannah Beckett in 1818. Checking the Baptism records for Aylesbury, it appears that Thomas & Hannah had no children.

Now to make things unclear, another Thomas Showler was born in 1798 in Aylesbury (both Thomas’s were cousins). The second Thomas died in 1832, within days of his father William and his grandmother Elisabeth. They were all buried on the 2nd March 1832. A few websites I found indicated that an outbreak of Cholera in Aylesbury killed 50 people.

Hannah Showler (nee Beckett) is listed in the 1841 census as living with a Richard Holt and two of his children from his first marriage. Richard & Hannah later marry in 1848 and Hannah is listed as being a widow. So was she the widow of the Thomas that died in 1832 or was she the ‘widow’ of the Thomas who came to NSW as a convict?

As noted in my earlier post today, I found some newspaper reports in 1903 in relation to the attempted murder of Ellen Heber by John Heber. Throughout the reports below, it indicates that Ellen was afraid of her husband and that she believed he would kill her one day but refused to take any action against him, even after the attempt to kill her. There are other reports throughout the 1890’s with John being charged with various offences, such as drunkenness & indecent exposure.

John Heber and Ellen McCormack were married in 1884 at Lochinvar, New South Wales.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) issue Thursday 2 April 1903

ATTEMPTED WIFE MURDER.  HUSBAND USES AN AXE AND A RAZOR CUTS HIS OWN THROAT.

WEST MAITLAND, Wednesday

A terrible sensation occured at Pelaw Main, colliery town nine miles south of Maitland, this afternoon, when John Heber, a miner, attacked his wife with a tomahawk, indicting dreadful wounds to the head and face. He also cut her throat with a razor, and then cut his own throat. He was arrested by Constable Smith and brought to Maitland hospital in a weak state, but his wounds are not of a fatal nature. Mrs. Heber is in a very weak state from loss of blood. No hopes are entertained of her recovery. The couple resided in Maitland for some time, and Mrs. Heber had complained to the police of his treatment, but refused to take any action to have him restrained.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954)  Friday 3 April 1903

ATTEMPTED WIFE MURDER. ASSAILANT OUT OF DANGER.

WEST MAITLAND, Thursday.

John Heber, who murderously assaulted his wife at Pelaw Main yesterday and cut his own throat, is now out of danger. His wife was brought to Maitland Hospital to-die, and still lies in a critical state, although the doctors now entertain a hope of recovery. She recovered consciousness prior to her depositions being taken this morning.

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907)

Wednesday 8 April 1903

Sensation at Maitland.

A sensation was caused at the mining town ship of Pelaw, a few miles south of Maitland, on Wednesday, by a man named John Heber, who attempted to kill his wife, afterwards cutting his own throat.

It is said Heber and his wife had not lived ‘ too happily, the man continually finding fault with his wife. They had lived in Maitland, and there on one occasion the police interfered to protect her from his violence. Mrs. Heber had stated to different persons that she was afraid of her husband killing her some-day, but she would take no action against him when advised to do so.

Heber was In Maitland, and he reached home, lt is said, under the Influence of drinks   At about 5 o’clock he quarrelled with his wife and during the altercation he rushed at her with a shingling-hammer. It is believed that he first struck her with the blade and then with the head of the hammer. A knife and razor were also used. The woman has a dreadful gash on the right side of her head; and of number of contused wounds on the head and face.

After tho murderous assault on his wife, Heber used either the knife or the razor in inflicting gash on his own throat, about 31n long, but it is not thought to so serious, as no artery was severed.

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954) Friday 24 April 1903

INTERCOLONIAL NEWS.

By Telegraph

New South Wales.

Sydney, Friday.

John Heber, a miner, was charged at the West Maitland Police Court yesterday with inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife, whom he   recently tried to kill. The woman refused to give evidence, but Heber’ was committed for trial on other testimony. Ball was refused

Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907) Wednesday 29 April 1903

The Pelaw Main Sensation.

In connection with the sensation which occurred at the new mining township, Pelaw Main, to the south of Maitland, at the beginning of the month, John Heber, on remand, was charged at the Maitland Police Court with maliciously wounding his wife, Helen Heber, with intent to do grievous, bodily harm.

The medical evidence-was that Mrs. Heber had been severely handled, and rendered unconscious; that she had sustained severe incised wounds on the head, and her face was much – bruised and swollen.

A shingling hammer, and a blood-stained, brick, with which the Injuries were caused, were produced.

The accused’s wife, who appeared in court with her head swathed in- bandages, declined to give evidence against her husband.

Heber, who was greatly agitated and continuously paced up and down the dock had nothing  to say, and was committed for trial at the  Quarter Session at East Maitland on June 16. Bail was refused’.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) Friday 19 June 1903

The Maitland Quarter Sessions were resumed this morning before Judge Fitzhardinge. John Heber was convicted of maliciously wounding his wife, Mary Heber, at Pelaw Main on April 1, and was sentenced to 12 mouths’ imprisonment, at the expropriation of his sentence to enter into security of £40 with two sureties of £10 each, to be of good behaviour for a further period of three years.

It appears from the above and later reports that John did a lot of drinking and was violent when doing so. I’ve also noticed from reviewing WW1 service records for John & Ellen’s 3 sons (Augustus, Laurence & Vincent) and along with their cousin Joseph, they were all charged and convicted of drunkenness, disobedience, absent without leave and disorderly conduct throughout their service in WW1.

John’s father, Paul Heber died in 1892 and from reading the report of his death, Paul was well received in the community and his mourned by many.

“Mr. Heber was an old colonist – one of the hardy pioneers of the land – and a man who has laboured long and diligently in this part of the colony. He was a native of Germany, and came to this colony 38years ago – when he was only l8 years old – and he has reared a large family of sons and daughters, who now, with their mother, mourn his sudden death.”

John Heber died in 1918. There are no reports listing his death or a funeral notice.

Ellen Heber died in 1949 at the age of 86

John Heber – Hard Labour

Posted: May 9, 2012 in Heber

As I am not going back to work until the end of May, one of the things I know I need to do is to clean up my back room where my computer and my family history stuff are. I’ve got a couple of piles of paper and research I’ve done over the last year or so that I haven’t really done much with.

So, with this in mind to clean up, I started yesterday to go through the information and record the information into my Legacy Database and to scan any documents and attach them to the appropriate person. I was going really well until this afternoon, when I came across a page from the May 1880, Police Gazette of listing a ‘return of Prisoners tried’. The last entry on the page was for a John Heber ‘inflicting grievous bodily harm’ to Paul Heber (his father). John was sentenced to 6 months Hard Labour in Maitland Gaol. I recorded the details in the database but I thought I would check Trove out to see if there was a newspaper article about the incident. There was and more.

I note here that John Heber was married to Ellen McCormack, my maternal great grandmother’s sister.

The first thing I saw when I searched Trove was reports from various papers in April 1903 of ‘Attempted Wife Murder’, ‘Sensation at Maitland’, ‘The Pelaw Main Sensation’.  I’ll write a separate post about what occurred in 1903.

Prior to the 1880 incident there appears to be a number of incidents involving John and his family.

From various other newspaper articles:

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893) Saturday 3 May 1873

 ‘A Jeremiah Boland, on the same day, was charged with having assaulted a boy named John Heber, at Oswald, near Lochinvar, on the 27th April.

John would have only been 13 at the time.  Jeremiah was also charged with assaulting Margaret Heber (John’s mother), as well as destroying certain fencing, the property of Paul Heber (Husband of Margaret & father to John).

Three years after the above incident, Paul Heber, John’s father posted the following add in the Maitland Mercury on the 27th July 1876

ANY PERSON EMPLOYING OR HARBOURING MY SON, JOHN HEBER, who is under age, will be PROSECUTED as the law directs, PAUL HEBER, Luskintyre North Vineyard.

On the 29th January 1874 a Michael Boland was charged “with having violently assaulted one Paul Heber, at Luskintyre. This report is rather long and if you want to read – you can do so by reviewing the report here.

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893)

Tuesday 22 June 1880

UNLAWFULLY WOUNDING.  

John Heber surrendered to his bail on the charge that he did, at Luskintyre, on the 3rd day of May, feloniously, unlawfully, and maliciously wound one Paul Heber with intent thereby then to do him some grievous bodily harm.

Prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. R. A. Youag.

Mr. C. G. Heydon prosecuted for the Crown and opened the case to the jury.

From the evidence it appeared that the prosecutor and the prisoner, who was his son, were not on friendly terms, and Heber had prohibited his son from coming to his house. Between 7 and 8 o’clock on the evening of the 3rd of May last in consequence of something the prosecutor’s daughter had told him, he went outside of his house at Luskintyre and saw the prisoner  outside the back door. Prosecutor asked the prisoner what he wanted. The latter, who had a stick in his hand, replied that he would b-soon let him know.

Prisoner asked for his clothes, which prosecutor had previously thrown out. Heber told his son that he had thrown his clothes out on the wood-heap. Prisoner replied ” You b—— German b——, I’ll break your b——– jaw, like you had it broken before.” Prosecutor went back into the house and, got a stick or axe-handle, and afterwards went back and returned with a gun in his hand. He held the gun by the barrel, and made a kind of a shove ,at prisoner witfy the butt of it. Prisoner took the gun out of Heber‘s   hand, and then struck him over the head with   the stick he held in his hand, the blow causing Heber to fall on to the ground. Heber was afterwards carried into the bedroom, and was laid up for a fortnight or so. He was attended by Dr. R. J. Pierce during his illness. The prosecutor admitted that he had taken a quart of wine from dinner time that day up to the time of the assault, and was rather excited. About six or seven years ago he was bound over to keep the peace towards a person named Boland. Prisoner did not hit him with a stick until he struck or shoved the prisoner with the gun. Prosecutor also admitted that he was reputed by some to be a quarrelsome man when in liquor. Prisoner was turned out for being disobedient and refusing to work. Another version of the affair given by John Heber, another of prosecutor’s sons, was that the prisoner and prosecutor seemed to be hitting at each other before the prisoner struck his rather with the stick. This witness also admitted that he had been turned out of the house on four or five occasions, and the prosecutor was a pretty violent man when in liquor. Witness’s father and mother quarrelled, and sometimes Heber turned his wife out, and sometimes she left of her own accord. Similar admissions were made by prosecutor’s daughter.    

The prisoner was in the habit of coming to the house for his clothes, which were washed there. When Dr. Pierce saw the prosecutor about three hours after the assault, the latter was insensible, and his eyes were bunged up. There were two large wounds on the fore- head, one, a straight wound, about three and half inches long, running from his hair to the nose ; and the other, a semi-circular wound, about two and a half inches long. Both wounds were completely cut to the bone, and were bleeding freely, his clothes being saturated with blood -, one of the front teeth was also broken. The doctor was of opinion that there must have been more than one blow to have inflicted the injuries described. Prisoner after the arrest told the constable that the prosecutor had struck at him with a gun, and asked his brother to go down to a stump in the paddock and get the gun which his father had broken over him. Prisoner had the stick in his hand before his father came out.

Mr. Young addressed the jury for the de- fence He submitted that what the prisoner did was done in self-defence. On the occasion of the assault the prisoner went to the house as he was in the habit of doing to see after his clothes which his mother had washed for him, when he was attacked by the prosecutor, who admitted that he struck the prisoner with the gun before the latter had struck him. The quarrels between prosecutor and the prisoner arose through the latter always stepping in and protecting his mother from the violence of   the prosecutor.

At one o’clock the jury retired to consider their verdict, at twelve minutes past one they returned into court with a verdict of guilty of unlawfully wounding, with a recommendation to mercy on account of circumstances of aggravation. His Honor said he would take into consideration the fact that it was the prisoner’s first offence, and also the recommendation of the jury, and inflict a lighter sentence than he would under other circumstances. Prisoner was sentenced to be imprisoned in Maitland gaol for six months with hard labour.

I wonder sometimes at people who say I’ve researched my family history. Have they really? A comment I received recently said ‘ my surname’s blah’, so I must be connected to your tree! I don’t think so. How would you know if you aren’t prepared to do the hard work? Other’s find information and think that what they find is gospel and correct. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not. Recently I found a photo of a house on someone’s tree on Ancestry that apparently was the house of one of my ancestors. I contacted them to ask where the house was, the name of it and what evidence did they have to say it belonged to this said couple. This person has not bothered to reply so I can’t help but wonder, is it correct, did they find it on someone else’s tree and just copied over without thinking? Why bother uploading something and not be prepared to show the evidence.

Way back when I first started doing my family history (where talking 1988 here by the way), the only way to research was go to the library and then spend weeks waiting for that certificate or other piece of information to be snail mailed to you.  These days, it’s quite easy to find information on the internet somewhere but what if that piece of information you found is ‘wrong’?

Back in the old days, I spent a great deal of time at the local library, basically because that’s where you went to do your research and then when you found something, weeks would go by before you had that little piece of evidence that either proved it right or wrong.

When I first started researching my beloved grandmother’s family history many years ago, it was without the advantages (or maybe disadvantages) of today’s technology.  My grandmother had the details of her parents, she had their birth, death and marriage certificates, which back then was a gold mine, considering that they were married and born in South Australia. Living in NSW, it’s a little hard to do family history research in another state, though it is a little easier now. Their marriage certificate showed that my great grandmother’s father was George Honney Harris.  Her birth certificate showed her parents as George Honey Harris and Rose Ann Harris. With this information I was able to look up the SA BDM index’s and find the marriage. After obtaining the marriage certificate, it showed that George’s father was Peter George Harris and Rose’s father was Frederick John Hurst.

So armed with the fact that George’s father was ‘Peter George Harris’, I went searching. I found a book, which I think was the South Australian Biographical register (can’t remember the name but I still have the photo copy of the page) and found the following entries.

This showed the family of George Honey Harris and Rose Ann Hurst, along with the names of their children, parents etc. It does have one glaring mistake, the name of Daisy Beecham. This I guess the contributor believed Daisy married someone with the surname of Beecham.  I knew this to be wrong as I had both her birth and marriage certificates, which proved otherwise. By the way, I have not been able to find a marriage between a Harris and Beecham in the SA indexes.

This entry also shows that George’s father was George Peter Harris. Now yes, it’s possible the first and second names were swapped around on the marriage certificate, so maybe it’s the right piece of information.  The next entry that is of interest is further below, which has the details of George Peter Harris and his apparent two marriages.

So without much further to go on, I believed that the information, contained here was correct, though I did keep digging every so often to find more information. It wasn’t until late 2010, when I realised that the information in the book was incorrect. Everyone believes that the George Peter Harris (co-founder of Harris Scarfe) was the father of George Honey Harris.

With access to Ancestry, Trove and a contact with a cousin I was able to discover that there were two George Peter Harris’s living in South Australia around the same time. There was a George Peter Harris and then there is Peter George Harris. I can see where people might get confused and think one is the other, but they are not.

The above entry indicated that ‘George Peter Harris’ had arrived in SA by 1854. Research tells us that yes, he did, but in fact he arrived in February 1849 and co-founded the ‘Harris Scarfe’ store.  Yes, he did marry Caroline Fischer and had two children. This was his only marriage. He also died in London on 1873.

Peter George Harris’ arrived in 1854 along with his family. They are listed in the 1851 census at Guernsey Channel Islands and this showed George Honey’s birth to be closer to 1844 not 1849. His actual birth registration is:

George-Honey Harris
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 06 Jun 1844
Birthplace: Guernsey, Channel Islands
Father’s Name: Peter-Geo. Harris
Mother’s Name: Adelina Bienvenu

Even though I don’t have Peter G’s death certificate I do have a photo of his grave, which has his birth to be the 24th May 1805.  The George Peter Harris was born around 1823 in I believe London. My Great Great Grandfather, Peter was also known as Pierre George.

I’m a little miffed at the moment, that despite all the evidence that we now have, many still believe that our family are related to the G P Harris of Harris Scarfe. We are not. The evidence proves it.

So in summary, you need to put in the effort and obtain the birth, marriage & death certificates of people so that you can then ensure that you are tracing the right tree. Someone might have something in a book or on the internet but how do you know for sure it’s correct without obtaining the evidence?

In my post on the 7th January, I let you know that I had found the marriage of my ancestors Samuel Baldwin and Mary Warren at Polstead, Suffolk in 1804.

With this new found information I contacted my ‘cousin’ and let him know what I found. The finding of the marriage proved our connection. I am descended through Samuel and Mary’s first son, John Baldwin (b1804) and my cousin is descended through another son, Thomas Baldwin, born 1815. He was able to obtain the original copy of the marriage and one of the witness was a Samuel Warren, which I would think is probably Mary’s father.

I am yet to find any other children born to Samuel & Mary between 1804 and 1812 but they did have another 3 children.  The children we know are below and were all born and baptised in St Marys’ Bures, Suffolk,

  • John (1804-1871)
  • Samuel (1813-1816
  • Thomas (1815-1851)
  • Robert (1817-1892)
  • George (1826-1905)

From looking at the Cosford Database, Ancestry and Family Search, everything points to Mary Warren’s parents being Samuel Warren and Ann How. They were married on the 30th November 1779 at Polstead. Though in saying this, it’s possible “How” may not be her maiden name, as the marriage is listed twice, with Ann’s surname also being Townes.

Samuel Warren and Ann How

  • Ann Warren 1780:
  • Mary Warren 1783 -1842: married Samuel  Baldwin in 1804
  • Samuel Warren 1785 – 1845: married Ann Hyham in 1819
  • Susan Warren 1789: married William Elmer in 1819
  • Hannah Warren 1791:
  • Elizabeth Warren 1793 – 1872: married John Green in 1818
  • James Warren 1794:
  • John Warren 1797:
  • Edward Warren 1798 – 1884: married Maria Lambert in 1820 and married Charlotte Rice in 1846.

One tree on Ancestry has posted a photo of a house with the description ‘ Samuel Warren and Ann How’s house’. There is no other description or comments for the photo. Others have copied the photo over to their tree but I am reluctant to do this without further proof confirming that this was the house they had lived in. I’ve sent a message to the person who originally posted the photo and have asked them to let me know where the house is and the name of it. I’m thinking that it’s more than likely that it is in Polstead, considering that’s where they spent their live. But as yet, I haven’t heard from them.

Samuel’s age was listed as being 85 in the UK Census 1841 which would make his birth year to be 1756. But on his death, his age is listed as being 87, which would mean he was born in 1758.

On Family Search there are 3 possibilities for who his parents were:

  • Samuel Warren – born 20 Nov 1756 Suffolk,​England to William and Mary Warren
  • Samuel Warren – christened 15 Feb 1758 Suffolk, to Nathanael Warren, and Sarah Warren
  • Samuel Warren – christened 23 Apr 1758 Layham,​Suffolk,​to Samuel and Elizabeth Warren.

I note that there are some trees on Ancestry that have William & Mary as Samuel’s parents but I’d rather wait to see if I can find further prove before saying for sure that they were his parents.

There appears to have been some tragedy that occurred during March of 1842 in Polstead, because at least 3 members of Warren family died in early March.

Samuel Warren born 1758 – died March 1845. Buried 8 March 1845 at St Mary’s Polstead

Samuel Warren born 1785 – died March 1845. Buried 11 March 1845 at St Mary’s Polstead

Ann Warren (born 1820) married William Munson in 1841 – died March 1845. Buried 7 March 1845 at St Mary’s Polstead, note I’m not sure of who Ann’s parents were. The Cosford database has two Ann Warren’s born in 1820/1821. Maybe they are the one and the same? I would have to obtain the marriage certificate for Ann & William to see the name of Ann’s father.

My Paternal grandfather Frederick George Richer was born to Thomas Richer and Matilda Emma Scutcher in 1883 at Walthamstow Essex.

This post will concentrate on the Scutcher family. The surname of Scutcher has many spellings, consisting of:

  • Scutcher,
  • Scotcher
  • Chutche
  • Chutchee
  • Scutche
  • Scutchey
  • Cutcher
  • Sutcher
  • Scutchy

Matilda Emma Scutcher was born in 1842 Tendring, Great Bentley, Essex.  Her parents were:  Francis Scutcher and Mary Pretty.

Francis and Mary were married at Great Bentley Essex on the 21 July 1818. Francis’s surname on the English Marriages 1538-1973 located on Family Search shows it as being Scutche.

Francis and Mary had 11 children:I note here that all of the christening information on Family Search are shown as Scutche and Scutchey

  • MaryAnn             Born 1818
  • Sarah                  Born 1821
  • John Francis        Born 1824
  • Eliza                   Born 1826
  • Elizabeth             Born 1829 – Died 1836
  • William                Born 1832 – Died 1854
  • Susanna              Born 1834
  • Hannah                Born 1839
  • Matilda Emma      Born 1842 – Died 1925
  • Francis                Born 1844

Trying to find the family on the UK census has been difficult as the as the surnames have been transcribed incorrectly. For instance the 1841 census shows the family as:

  • Francis Scuther    48
  • Mary Souther      40
  • William Souther   9
  • Susanna Souther  5
  • James Souther      4
  • Hannah Souther  2

From looking at the image, it clearly shows the name as Scutcher. On the 1851 Census they are indexed as Scotcher and again the image clearly (me anyway) showing Scutcher.

  • Francis Scotcher   60
  • Mary Scotcher      50
  • James Scotcher     14
  • Hannah Scotcher  12
  • Matilda Scotcher    9
  • Francis Scotcher     7
  • James Scutcher     96

Moving on, Francis’s parents were James and Susan Scutcher.  I have not as yet been able to find their marriage or what Susan’s maiden name was, but she was born about 1759 and died in 1820 and is buried at the St Mary the Virgin Church at Great Bentley Essex (source: National Burial Index Third Edition

James born about 1755 and a number of trees on ancestry have his father’s name as being Ambrose but as yet I haven’t found any evidence of this though in saying this, James & Susan did have a son named Ambrose born in 1789.

James and Susan had 7 children:

  • Susan             Born 1783
  • James             Born 1785
  • Ambrose         Born 1789
  • Francis           Born 1790 – 1869
  • Elizabeth         Born 1793
  • Anne               Born 1795
  • Mary               Born 1797

James Scutcher died in 1851 and is buried at the St Mary the Virgin Church at Great Bentley Essex (source: National Burial Index Third Edition).